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GC AMPLIFIED

Our investment in Saturn – Making the Calendar Social and Fun for You and Your Friends

  • August 11, 2021
  • by Niko Bonatsos

I vividly remember meeting Saturn’s co-founders Dylan Diamond and Max Baron in May of 2019 — when they were just over a year out of high school. Both working full-time jobs, the two Wharton sophomores observed that it was easier for them to schedule conference calls with their colleagues than dinner or drinks with friends. They less eagerly admitted they were skipping one of their Wharton exams to attend their first sit-down meeting with Denali Tietjen and I from General Catalyst. We felt bad of course…

 

From that first meeting, we at GC were fascinated by their description of the problem and their resolute conviction around the opportunity to build a major social platform around one’s calendar and those friends who matter most — through this concept of “shared time.”

 

They spoke in that meeting of feeling utterly left-behind by existing products, and their outright surprise that there was no calendar offering providing support to their generation. At that point, the engagement and retention they had with their proof of concept was already striking. I was immediately reminded of the intensity of engagement we saw when investing in Snap. Hadn’t seen such metrics for quite some time, since our investments in Discord and Sleeper.

 

I think to some end Dylan and Max’s determination to solve this problem stems from a seemingly personal obligation to do so for their peers, and from a familiarity with the problem and the audience that was also reminiscent of Evan and Bobby from Snap. As a firm, GC has always looked to support authentic first time founders who have a deep personal connection to the problem they were solving — and these two fit that description exactly.

 

That’s why we are glad to have led/co-led their early financing rounds, and why General Catalyst has joined them on this mission to rethink the calendar, and what it can be, from the ground up — initially focused on this elusive generation.

 

Being so close to their target users, this team has a remarkable understanding of today’s high schoolers, and their needs. Gen Z’ers building for Gen Z’ers. I now see this in everyone they have recruited to join the team so far. By building social features on top of a calendar, they are taking a utility people need to use every day, reducing it down to its most simple components, and then folding in users’ friends, providing a digital experience that helps people better get through their days, in a way that feels natural and human. At its core, a wildly simple proposition, but one that has required tireless work to execute against through rapid product development and iteration, as they have supercharged their calendar with features like chat.

 

These improvements have resulted in significant improvements to user’s engagement, which has only continued to improve, as the company prepares to expand the product nationally.

 

With today’s announcement that the company has now raised nearly $50mm in funding, I’m thrilled to be on this journey with Dylan, Max, Denali (who joined them from GC almost a couple of years ago now) and the other fantastic folks they have brought to the table to support their efforts.

 

We are in the early innings of a very exciting journey.

 

You can learn about open roles at joinsaturn.com and read the full Forbes coverage here.

 

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